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The Land of Non-Fiction

By Jon Preddle

To date there have been 152 novelisations of Doctor Who episodes, plus The New Adventures, and an endless number of Annuals, magazines and fanzines. There have also been numerous non-fiction Doctor Who books published within the last twenty years. This guide takes a look at some of these non-fiction books, listing them in chronological order of publication.

The Making Of Doctor Who
Published 1972 by Piccolo, this paperback was the first behind the scenes book on Doctor Who. Written by Malcolm Hulke and the then-current script editor Terrance Dicks, the book takes a look at the origins of the programme, interviews the first three Doctors, and features an episode guide of sorts (covering all the stories up to The Sea Devils) in the form of written reports giving evidence at the Doctor's trial! It also includes a production diary for the making of The Sea Devils (which had not even screened in Britain at the time of publication). The book was later rewritten by Terrance Dicks and published by Target in 1976, and updated to include the Tom Baker stories, with a new episode guide ending at The Hand Of Fear.

The Doctor Who Monster Book
This large-sized 64-page picture book was written by Dicks for Target in 1975, and contains photos of the Doctor's most famous and not-so-famous foes ( although some pages are simply enlargements of the Target novelisation artwork) complete with a pull-out poster of the cover illustration. Target reprinted the book in 1985, but with different photos for some sections and minus the poster.

The Second Doctor Who Monster Book
1977 saw the release of a follow-up to the previous Monster Book, again written by Dicks, which is basically an illustrated episode guide to Tom Baker's stories (up to The Talons Of Weng-Chiang), but this time with 14 pages in full colour. Smaller in dimensions to the first Monster Book, this has not been reprinted and is difficult to find.

Terry Nation's Dalek Special
Edited by the prolific Terrance Dicks, this 1979 Target release is similar in format to the Second Monster Book, but, as the title suggests, concentrates on the Daleks. The book contains a short story written by Dalek-creator Terry Nation; an illustrated guide to all the Dalek stories (to date) as well as puzzles and pictures to colour!

The Adventures Of K9 And Other Mechanical Creatures
This would have to be one of the longest titles for a Doctor Who book, written by Terrance Dicks! A sequel of sorts to the Dalek book, this 1979 Target release contains a photographic guide to the creation of K9, the stories he featured in (up to The Armageddon Factor) as well as a guide to the robots and mechanical monsters encountered by the Doctor. There are also some silly puzzles.

A Day With A TV Producer
This is not actually a Doctor Who book, but one of a series of children's books looking at different occupations. Published in 1980 by Wayland, and written by Graham Rickard, the book takes a look at John Nathan-Turner's duties as TV producer. Although the text is very childish, the photo content is very impressive, consisting of the behind the scenes making of The Leisure Hive.

The Doctor Who Programme Guides
Written by French fan Jean Marc Lofficier, this Target publication is an invaluable reference guide. Released 1981 in two volumes; the first being an episode guide - up to Logopolis, the second being a Who's Who and What's What. The first volume was reprinted in 1989 with an updated story guide to Survival, and the second volume has been split into two separate books: The Terrestrial Index (published 1991) and The Universal Databank (published 1992).

Doctor Who - The Making Of A Television Series
Like Graham Rickard's book, this was one of a series of children's books but which looked at different aspects of entertainment e.g. movies, theatre and television. Written by Alan Road, published 1982 by Andre Deutsch, the large format book takes a very detailed look at the making of The Visitation, from location filming through to studio work. As a Doctor Who behind-the-scenes book, this is one of the best.

The Doctor Who Technical Manual
Since the programme's 20th anniversary in 1983, there has been a glut of Doctor Who related books on the market. This large format book from Severn House, written and illustrated by Mark Harris (no, not The Man From Atlantis!), consisted of blue-print style drawings of Daleks, Cybermen, K9, the TARDIS console, guns and robots etc with accompanying text.

Doctor Who - A Celebration
The first of many large format books from W H Allen by Peter Haining is, without doubt, his best. Released in 1983 to coincide with the broadcast of The Five Doctors, the book details virtually every aspect of the programme, from its humble beginnings to the fandom it has generated. Excellent.

Doctor Who - The Unfolding Text
Written by two college professors, John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado, this 340 page work reads like a school text book, which is precisely its intention. An analysis of the programme's popularity from an academic viewpoint, the book is rather heavy going. One section details the making of Kinda, and this piece is by far the most interesting. For completists only...

Doctor Who - The Key To Time
Peter Haining's second book came out in 1984 (W H Allen) to tie in with Colin Baker's arrival as the Doctor. Slightly smaller in size to Haining's other books, it takes a look at the programme's history, in the form of a diary covering significant dates, with reference to all the newspaper articles over the years. It is lavishly illustrated with fan artwork, which is mostly of a very high standard. One of Alister Pearson's first pieces appears!

Doctor Who - Timeview
Comic strip artist Frank Bellamy was responsible for a series of illustrations that appeared with the British Radio Times' listings for Doctor Who during the 1970s. This 1985 book (from Who Dares), written by the late Bellamy's son David, puts all these drawings together for the first time, offering a chance to view Bellamy's unique style.

The Doctor Who Illustrated A-Z
1985 saw yet another large format book from W H Allen, this time by fan artist Lesley Standring. As the title suggests, the book is an alphabetical index to the people, places and monsters of the Doctor Who universe, illustrated with Standring's water-colour drawings. Again, for completists only...

Doctor Who - The Tardis Inside Out
Producer John Nathan-Turner tried his hand at moneymaking by writing a book about the programme he loves. Published in 1985 from Piccadilly Press, the book is JNT's own 'diary' of his time on the programme from 1969 to 1985. Illustrated with Andrew Skilleter's splendid artwork, the book is actually a very informative read, with some passages raising an eyebrow or two - particularly his account as to why he chose Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor!

Doctor Who - The Companions
A year later, Piccadilly Press released JNT's second book - an alphabetical guide to all the Doctor's companions. Like his previous work, some of the stories he reveals are quite interesting. The book fails on several points; mainly JNT's very brief descriptions for some of the companions (the ones he never worked with in other words), and the illustrations by fan artist Stuart Hughes; some drawings are quite brilliant, while others are just simply awful.

The Doctor Who File
Peter Haining's third W H Allen offering came out in 1986 and saw plagiarism taken to the full. The book consists of a series of interviews with Doctor Who personnel, that had in fact all appeared in previous publications, including Doctor Who Monthly. However, the photographic content and fan artwork are of such a quality that this can be forgiven...

Doctor Who - The Early Years
This was the second of W H Allen's large format books of 1986, but written by Jeremy Bentham, one of the founders of DWAS, who is considered by fans to be the programme's unofficial historian. Written in conjunction with ex-BBC designer Ray Cusick, the book details the origins of the programme, but concentrating on the Hartnell stories that Cusick personally worked on. Illustrated by Cusick's private collection of photos, it is these alone, plus his original blueprints for the Daleks, and other design sketches, that make the book so fascinating.

Doctor Who Special Effects
Mat Irvine worked on Doctor Who in the capacity of effects designer during the 1970s. This 1986 Beaver Books release written by Irvine gives an interesting look into an aspect of Doctor Who that is rarely covered in other publications. Illustrated with photos - many of them in colour - from Irvine's own private collection, it gives a very detailed look at how props, explosions, miniatures and monsters for Who, Blake's 7 and other BBC programmes are made. The book is also notable for being the only piece of Who merchandise to feature the Colin Baker Doctor Who logo!

Travel Without The Tardis
Slap a Doctor Who logo on anything and fans will buy it. This is the attitude that Target obviously had when they put out this paperback in 1986. From the pens of American fans Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman, the book is a guide to the various Doctor Who locations in Britain and Europe, and is written in a very pedantic style. Although I found it sometimes useful while touring around Britain in 1990, the book is still rather pointless. For completists only.

Doctor Who - The Time Traveller's Guide
Once more Peter Haining comes forward with another useless tome. The only two things worthy of note for this book are the photographs, many of which have never before been published; and the continuation of the episode guide from A Celebration (which is actually written by Jeremy Bentham!). The rest of the book is yet another alphabetical listing of monsters, planets and people from the worlds of Who. Published in 1987 by W H Allen.

The Encyclopedia Of The Worlds Of Doctor Who
And while we're on the subject of alphabetical guides, Piccadilly Press put out the first volume, A to D, of ex-DWAS coordinator David Saunders' epic guide in 1987, followed by volume two, E to K, in 1989, and volume three, L to R, in 1990. Unfortunately due to poor sales of the hardbacks, the remaining two volumes are unpublished. Which is a pity, because despite being one of many similar guides, these books are more definitive in their content. Also, the drawings are pretty good too...

The Official Doctor Who And The Daleks Book
A rather wordy title published 1988 in America only, by St. Martin's Press, written by ex-UK fan John Peel, with some help from Terry Nation. W H Allen showed an interest in publishing a British version, but abolished the idea on viewing the product! The book contains a detailed look at each TV Dalek story, up to Revelation of the Daleks; a 'History of the Daleks', and a look at the Daleks in comics. The photos are bloody awful; the 'History' is awful. The book is, well, awful...

Doctor Who - The Scripts
Titan Books published during 1988 and 1989 four 'scripts' of Doctor Who stories. While technically not an accurate title, the books actually contain transcripts of the episodes in question, plus technical notes. Edited by another ex-DWAS man John McElroy, the four titles so far published are The Tribe Of Gum (An Unearthly Child); The Tomb Of The Cybermen; The Talons Of Weng-Chiang and The Daleks. The books all make for interesting reading, The Daleks even more so as it is far more of a 'novelisation' of the story than the Target version.

Doctor Who - Cybermen
There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe David Banks' splendid book. Published in November 1988, from Who Dares, to tie in with the programme's 25th anniversary, the book gives a very detailed account of the creation of the Cybermen, both in fact and in fiction. Lavishly illustrated with rare photos and specially commissioned artwork from Andrew Skilleter, the book contains a detailed 'History' of the Cybermen, which unlike the history in John Peel's Dalek book is very precise; a comprehensive look at the making of all the televised Cybermen stories (excluding Silver Nemesis which hadn't yet screened in Britain); and a look at Cybermen merchandise. Excellent...

Doctor Who - 25 Glorious Years
To celebrate the programme's 25th anniversary, W H Allen released Peter Haining's fifth large format hardback. The book contains more interviews, but this time with the guest stars from the programme; a look at fandom; comics; and an interview with JNT. Once again the photos are the more interesting aspect of the book which, overall, isn't that bad.

The Gallifrey Chronicles
In TSV 26 I reviewed this book under my pseudonym of R H Cotwood. Like Peel's Dalek book, this volume (from Virgin, 1991) is a fictional 'History' but of the Time Lords and Gallifrey. The photos are good...

This item appeared in TSV 28 (April 1992).